Lethal Weapon (1987)

The tower where the woman falls to her death in the opening of the 1987’s “Lethal Weapon” was filmed at the International Tower Condos in Long Beach, California.

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LOCATION: 700 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802

Roger Murtaugh, played by Danny Glover, shows up in front of the same tower to investigate.  The Villa Riviera condos can be seen in the distance.

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Murtaugh’s house, seen in much of the film, is not a real house.  It’s a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is offsite from the main Warner Studio lot and is unfortunately not available for public tours.  The house has been used in countless productions, including the home of the Griswold’s angry neighbors in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” the Colonel’s house in “American Beauty” and many, many more.  It has the most complete interiors of any set on the ranch, much of which was seen in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The building where Martin Riggs, played by Mel Gibson, uses his unique methods to neutralize a potential suicide jumper was filmed at the Emser Tile building in West Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 8431 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (some GPS systems alternately list the location as 8431 CA-2, Los Angeles, CA 90069)

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Seven (1995)

David Fincher’s 1995 thriller “Seven” filmed primarily in downtown Los Angeles, against muted color tones and an onslaught of rain towers.  Detective Mills, played by Brad Pitt, first meets Detective Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman, at a murder scene in the Flower District of downtown.  As they exit the building, Somerset invites Mills for a drink, but is promptly declined.  The two walk along the building as they continue talking.

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LOCATION: 746 1/2 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The pair are introduced to the seven deadly sin killings with the “Gluttony” murder scene, filmed in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 720 Beacon Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

They make their way across a then-vacant lot, along the side of the property to a rear entrance.

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Somerset researches the seven deadly sins at the city library.  This was filmed at the A.G. Bartlett Building in downtown Los Angeles.  The building is currently used for a variety of businesses and lofts.  The property has been seen in countless other films, including “The Mask,” “The Prestige,” “Ghost,” “Bridesmaids” and many more.  This area cannot normally be accessed by pedestrians.  However, it is still visible from the street in a couple areas through the windows.

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LOCATION: 650 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Mills runs across the street in the rain to his car, parked across from this ramp to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on S Grand Ave.  Lady Gaga walks up the same ramp in the opening of “A Star Is Born” and it can also be seen in “Chinatown.”

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LOCATION: 530 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Thinking they’ve located the killer, the police raid leads instead to the discovery of the “Sloth” victim at the former Pan American Building, now known as the Pan American Lofts.  The building had a distinctive “Giant Penny Store” sign along the bottom, which is now gone.  However, much of the architecture otherwise remains the same.  The shots seen in the film are actually from the side of the building on W 3rd St.

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LOCATION: 253 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tracy asks Somerset to meet her at a diner, which was the former Quality Cafe in downtown.  The diner was a one-time staple of films, appearing in “Training Day,” “Ghost World,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Million Dollar Baby” and dozens more.  However, it was not an actual restaurant open to the public.  Instead it was used solely for filming (much like Johnie’s Coffee Shop in mid-town L.A.).  Unless the building was being set up for a production, most of the time it was closed up and locked by a large metal door covering the front windows.  So catching a glimpse of it was rare.

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LOCATION: 1238 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (now closed and heavily remodeled)

Sadly, it ceased to function as a filming location and was completely renovated in 2014.  The property no longer bears any resemblance to how it appeared in so many films.

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Later in the film, Somerset emerges from this doorway of Chester Williams Building.

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LOCATION: 215 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The fictitious Wild Bill’s Leather could be found on E 6th St in downtown Los Angeles, next to the Nite Owl from “L.A. Confidential” and across the street from where Forrest and Lieutenant Dan celebrate New Year’s in “Forrest Gump.”

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LOCATION: 123 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The police station was a composite of a few different buildings, but the exterior can be found on Mateo St.

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LOCATION: 673 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

The film’s infamous ending was shot in Lancaster.  While there are quite a few electrical towers out there, it’s not as dense as what’s seen in the film, indicating some use of visual effects.

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LOCATION: 10482 W Ave I, Lancaster, CA 93536

Related articles: The Game (1997), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010)

This Is 40 (2012)

In the 2012 comedy “This Is 40,” a spin-off of “Knocked Up,” the story follows the life of a married couple, Pete and Debbie, played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann.  The same house was used for the couple in both films and can be found in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.  The property is gated, with a long wall running along the front, so visibility is difficult.  From the right angle, however, it can still be seen.

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LOCATION: 531 N Bristol Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Pete’s father Larry, played by Albert Brooks, lives at this Studio City home.

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LOCATION: 12718 Valley Spring Ln, Studio City, CA 91604

Related articles: Knocked Up (2007)

Top Gun (1986)

In the town of Oceanside, California, about 40 miles north of San Diego, you’ll find the iconic house from the 1986 hit “Top Gun.”  Charlie, played by Kelly McGillis, lives at this beachfront cottage, where she is visited by Maverick, played by Tom Cruise.  The two make love while Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” plays, in one of the most famous love scenes of the 1980s.

The house now sits vacant and boarded up, having fallen into a state of disrepair, with fencing erected around it in an effort to minimize vandalism.  At the time of filming, several other houses existed along the block, but all have been demolished except for this one.  Hotel development is reportedly planned for the block, but the “Top Gun” house drives tourism to Oceanside, so rather than demolition, the house is set for relocation and restoration (much like what happened with the Michael Myers house from the original “Halloween“).  While the restoration is much needed, we wanted to capture it at it’s original site while it still remains there.

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LOCATION: 102 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054

Here is a front facing view of the house, where you can see a poster for the film over one of the boarded up windows.

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For scenes set at the back of the house, a completely different location stood in, behind the medical building of Paramount Studios.

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LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

For the 1989 sequel “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” most of the story is set in Chicago, Illinois, but production took place primarily in Burbank, California, with a few exteriors filmed in Chicago and Colorado.  The Griswold house is not a real house, rather a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch.  The ranch is located separate from the main Warner Bros. Studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house has since changed a bit, but still bears some resemblance.  The same house can be seen in “American Beauty,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Just next to the Griswold house is the neighbors’ house of Todd and Margo, played by Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  It too is a set, but of all the houses on the ranch, it has the most functional interior, having been used in many productions.  The house is mostly shown from side angles or close-ups, likely due to having been used in another popular film series at that time, “Lethal Weapon,” where it served as Danny Glover’s house.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “American Beauty“, The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Clark flirts with an attractive woman working at a department store, before his son busts him.  This was filmed at Bullocks Wilshire, a famous art deco building on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.  Once a luxury department store, the building now operates as a law school.  The building is only seen from interior views in the film.  While the inside is typically closed to the public, there are occasional public tour opportunities.  The building has also been seen in the films “The Aviator” and “Dunston Checks In,” the TV series “Moonlighting” and Areosmith’s music video for “Love in an Elevator,” as well many other productions.

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LOCATION: 3050 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Later in the film, Clark fantasizes about the same department store woman, undressing at a pool in his back yard.  The pool is also located at the Warner Bros Ranch.  While it is located fairly close to the Griswold house, it’s actually on the opposite side of the street (known as Blondie St), not in back of the house as depicted in the film.  If not for the trees in the background of the photo below, you could see the Griswold house in the distance.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Near the end of the film, Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, abducts Clark’s boss from his home after he stiffs his staff of their Christmas bonuses.  This was filmed at the Mattison Boyd Jones house in Glendale, California.  The house can be a bit tricky to see from the road, as the front of the property has a long fence with high shrubs and the driveway is gated.  However, from the right angle you can still catch a view.  Currently a private residence, the house has been seen in many television shows, primarily from the 70s and 80s, including “Flamingo Road,” “Columbo,” “Knight Rider” and “Emerald Point N.A.S.”

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LOCATION: 727 W Kenneth Rd, Glendale, CA 91202

Related articles: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

Pineapple Express (2008)

In the 2008 comedy “Pineapple Express,” Dale, played by Seth Rogen, witnesses a murder at this unique house in Glendale, California.

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LOCATION: 1845 Niodrara Dr, Glendale, CA 91208

Dale then rushes to the apartment of his drug dealer Saul, played by James Franco, as the two go on the run.

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LOCATION: 118 N Westmoreland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

A Star Is Born (2018)

Bradley Cooper directed and starred alongside Lady Gaga in the 2018 remake of “A Star is Born,” which was filmed largely around Los Angeles.  Early in the film, Ally, played by Lady Gaga, quits her job at a restaurant.  This was filmed in the kitchen of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.  Ally can be seen walking up the loading ramp just past the hotel on S Grand Ave.  The same ramp can be seen from the reverse angle in “Seven” and “Chinatown.”

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LOCATION: 530 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Ally’s house can be found in Angelino Heights, almost directly across the street from Dominic Toretto’s house in “The Fast And The Furious.”

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LOCATION: 739 E Kensington Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Another view of Ally’s house.

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Jack and Ally sit in front of the Super A Foods market late at night as Ally nurses an injured hand.  The same market was used in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

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LOCATION: 2924 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065

The famous Chateau Marmont is where Ally sees the billboard promoting her album release.

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LOCATION: 8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Jack and Ally begin living together in a house near the woods, located in Calabasas.  Since filming completed, the property is now surrounded by a fence.  However, due to the downward slope of the land from the road, the house is still easily visible from several areas.

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LOCATION: 481 Cold Canyon Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302

Jack’s garage, seen in several scenes in the film, is not fenced off and sits very close to the road.

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Jack is awoken on the street curb in front of his friend Noodles’ house, supposedly located in Memphis.  The real home can be found in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of East L.A.

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The home itself is only seen from interiors and side angles from the opposite side of the fence in the film.  The same house can be seen as the party house in the 1980s comedy “Teen Wolf” and was featured on an episode of the TV series “This Is Us.”  Directly next door is also the house of Chloë Grace Moretz’s character in “(500) Days Of Summer.”

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LOCATION: 5223 Shearin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90041

American Beauty (1999)

It is common practice in Hollywood to film exteriors of homes on location, while filming interiors on studio lots.  For the 1999 Sam Mendes film, “American Beauty,” an unusual approach was taken to film the exteriors on a studio lot and the interiors in real locations.

Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, lives at this house, the exterior of which is located on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is a small lot located apart from the main studio lot, and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house is also well known for having been used as the Griswold home in 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”  It has also appeared in the films “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.  As is often the case with houses on studio lots, the outer facade has since changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The interiors of Lester’s home were filmed at this house, located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 11388 Homedale St, Los Angeles, CA 90049

To the right of the Bernham house at the Warner Bros. Ranch is the exterior of the Colonel’s house.  This house is most well known for being Danny Glover’s home in the “Lethal Weapon” films.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.  Once again, the outer facade has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.  The interior of the Colonel’s house was filmed at 330 S Windsor Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90020.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

To the left of the Burnham house is the house of the two Jims, played by Scott Bakula and Sam Robards.  To stand on Blondie Street at the Warner Bros Ranch, where all three of the house exteriors are located, it really does feel like you’re standing in a real neighborhood.  It’s only when you approach up close that the facades begin to show.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505